Anime

Real Neat Blog Award!

How cool is this? Three other sites nominated Crow's World of Anime for the Real Neat Blog Award! Thanks to those sites (listed nomination date ascending order, starting with the site that nominated me first) are:

  1. ThatRandomEditor's Anime Blog
  2. Keiko's Anime Blog
  3. OSPREYSHIRE'S REALM

Thanks much for the nomination! I'll try not to embarrass you with my answers!


The Rules

Here are the rules as set forth in ancient times (otherwise known as the nominating posts!):

  1. Display the logo (see below!)
  2. Thank the bloggers for the award (in case you missed it above, thanks!)
  3. Answer the questions from the one who nominated you (each nomination carried 7 questions; to show pity on you, my patient readers, I'll answer 4 questions from each nomination)
  4. Nominate 7 to 10 bloggers (I might be a tad less expansive)
  5. Ask them 7 questions

The Logo

In accordance with the rules, here's the official logo:


Four Questions from ThatRandomEditor's Anime Blog

What keeps you coming back when it comes to blogging?

I talked about this from the perspective of my history in the post "Using Anime to Take a Stand." That post talked about why I started this site. But that post doesn't talk about why I selected blogging over other platforms, like pure Twitter, or Facebook, or other platforms. Or even just writing novels. I think there are two ways to answer this question.

  1. I enjoy watching anime, but not many people in my geographically close circle do. So, if I want to share the experience, if I want to (as the tagline says) celebrate "amazing moments in anime," then I need a platform like a blog. Novels only provide indirect feedback (reviews). Facebook and Twitter aren't bad, but I have to watch them with both eyes because I don't control the platform, and toxicity can explode at any moment.
  2. Some day, when I grow up (okay -- when I get the courage) to start my novel writing career, I'll need blogging skills, because relying solely on a single platform like Amazon or Facebook means I'm at their mercy. If I own the e-mail list and blog, I control the terms of the interaction, along with my readers. So, any blogging skills I gain while writing for this site will help me in the long run.

The first answer has turned out to be the most important. I enjoy interacting with readers on this site; I get some great comments! 

Who do you blog for?

For as long as I remember, I've considered myself a writer first. When I was going to be a teacher, it was a teacher who wrote; when I became a software developer, I was a software developer who wrote; and so on. That means I see the world in terms of writers and readers. The implication is that I write for two distinct audiences:

  1. I write for my readers. I see my readers as anyone who wants to enjoy fiction, in this case in the form of anime. I want to write for people who have just watched an episode that inspired them, and they want to share that inspiration or emotional high with others.
  2. I write to share my experiences (in other words, I write for myself). I want to write material that I as a reader would be interested in reading. I want to write material that will transport my readers to a place where they can like whatever they want to like, and they'll see a kindred soul there with them. 

You have the chance to make an original story for your favorite anime/film/show, how would you do it?

I'm still thinking about writing a fan-fic based in the Freezing universe. It wouldn't feature any of the characters from the series, but I like to mention Rana any chance I get. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Kinda already did with my story from the Sekirei universe. Check it out if you have a minute! 

But if I had to choose another, I have to admit that I have an outlines for a story from the Freezing universe. Now, it's reasonable for you to ask why I like the Freezing universe, so I'll just be honest and say there are two main reasons.

First, I adore strong women characters, and that's Freezing's claim to fame. Second, Rana Linchen. Yes, that one character elevated the whole series, both first and second season, to something sublime.

You should know that sometimes, it doesn't take much to inspire a guy like me. Or maybe it just takes a specific someone.

Anyway, I'd probably pick up around the end of season 2, at West Genetics, and the main character would be an older Limiter who's survived multiple Pandora. 

And yes, I know what psychological projection is! Why do you ask?

Which character do you hate the most?

That's really not easy. I try to avoid hating anyone, because it leads to all sorts of negative behaviors. That being said, I think I'll go with O'Brien from 1984. He used his power to break the protagonist, Winston Smith, for no other reason than the he wanted to exercise power. It was, in my opinion, the most immoral act I've read in literature. There was no justification, even a bad justification. O'Brien broke Smith just because he could.

I'm not a big proponent of "greater good" or even rationalization. But I think I'd prefer either to a straight up "I broke that person just to break that person." 


Four Questions from Keiko's Anime Blog

What is one thing you want to achieve this year?

If you've followed my novel writing site, then you probably know I've been trying to finish the beats for a trilogy for far too long. What you may not know is that it's even worse than it looks: the last novel I finished was back in the early 1990s. I have a general outlines for a trilogy. I've finished the beats for a fourth book, a prequel, that I intend to use as a lead magnet. I need to finish the beats for the first trilogy, then write all four books. 

There's only one reason I haven't finished writing them.

I haven't started writing them.

I can make a hundreds excuses why I haven't. I need to find the one reason to start. This year, I want to finish the beats so I can start writing the damned things! My characters are getting impatient!

Do you skip openings/endings when watching anime? Why?

Anime openings and closing are like little windows into their universe -- set to music! Like this shot from Arpeggio of Blue Steel: What did Shizuka Hozumi hear that has her so concerned?

I only skip the opening or closing if I seriously dislike the music, which is seldom. I love anime music, and I may or may not use tools like Audio Hijack to borrow the music to put into my playlists. If I can find the music on iTunes or on CD Japan, I'll buy it, because I enjoy the longer versions, and because I want to support the artists. 

I want them because I enjoy the music, but that's not the only reason. The combination of enjoyable music and imagery or sequences from the series are like a key that unlocks my imagination. It's the same power as a music video like Rammstein's Deutschland, which Starseeker introduced me to in this post from Dimension Gate. For the minute and a half the opening or closing is playing, it's like I'm visiting another world. The OP for Arpeggio of Blue Steel is a great example for me.

If you were a character what type of character would you be?

I've love to say I'd be a character that's lucky like Kimihito Kurusu from Monster Musume. Or powerful like Layfon Alseif from Chrome Shelled Regios. Or even astoundingly cool and capable like Levi from Attack on Titan. But if I'm honest, I'm more like Shiroe from Log Horizon. I don't quite have his skills (okay, I'd need tons of practice!), but I always admired how he could stay calm under pressure and how he kept his focus on the big picture. I also sympathized his approach of working behind the scenes, preferring to let others get the credit while he kept working on his plans and projects. His lack of perfection appealed to me, too. 

What is your favourite opening/ending from this season of anime?

I'm going to liberally interpret "this season" to mean the Winter 2019 season, which is ending now. That's because I haven't seen enough of the Spring 2019 season! This's a tough question, because there were several this season that I liked quite a lot. But I'm going to have to go with the OP for Sword Art Online Alicization (LiSA's Adamas), which I was lucky enough to find on iTunes. It had everything I like in an OP: wonderful music, solid action, attractive characters, and dramatic situations. 


Four Questions from OSPREYSHIRE'S REALM

What is your favorite poem?

Poetry has always been difficult for me. It taunts me, a prose writer, with its economy of phrase and condensed and compressed meaning. Whenever I tried to write poetry, it'd come out like a parable, or maybe a Psalm (and a pretty weak one, at that!). But there are a couple of poems that stuck with me after college, and one of them was W. B. Yeats' poem The Second Coming

There's the most famous line, of course:

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

That comes to me a couple times a day! But lately, the last lines occur to me if I listen to the news too much:

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

I suspect this means I need a vacation. 

Who do you think is the most underrated musician or band in your opinion?

Hands down, Grey Eye Glances. Jennifer Nobel's voice is just wonderful, and their lyrics strike me as literary. Youtube has some of their songs, like Angel, Something to Live For (which has some cool science fiction overtones), and The Passing of the Evening. That last one is in contention for one of my favorite songs of all time, along with Some Other Time by Gabriela Robin (who is really Yoko Kanno -- who is also ridiculously talented but is not in the least bit underrated!). 

How do you feel about plagiarism controversies in regards to media (film, TV, art, literature, etc.)?

There's a difference between paying homage, which I don't think is really plagiarism, and presenting work that's not your own as if it were your own, which is plagiarism (and lying, too, by the way!). I think at the edges, these ideas are pretty clear.

Truth be told, I prefer to keep to the homage side of the equation. It's not only okay to be influenced by someone's work, it's impossible not to be. The trick as a content creator of any sort is to cultivate your unique vision and present it as your own. There's no need to take other folks' work. The world's already seen that previous work -- what we need is to see more unique or even derivative work that takes a different approach to a known topic. 

If you could have any superpower, what would it be and how would you use it?

I think having stamina and being able to inspire others to fight tyranny would be a great super power! Capture from the Return of the King.

As soon as I start trying to imagine me with a super power, my imagination kicks in and tries to build a scenario I could write about. That means I favor the powers of a character like Batman over Superman. But even then, my stupid brain keeps pushing to build realistic scenarios until I end up with an idea from a trilogy and prequel that underlies so much of my imagination: The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. I'd take as a super power one of the Three Rings: Narya, the Ring of Fire and the Kindler. It's the Ring that Círdan gave to Gandalf to help him as he labored to protect Middle Earth. Narya had the power to inflame human spirits to resist tyranny and despair, as well as give stamina and endurance to the wearer. 

With that Ring, I'd round up some of you all to help, and I'd enter politics. I'd be an honest candidate, so I wouldn't get very far, but at least I could inspire others with the Ring!


I Nominate...

Of course, if you don't have time for this, or if you already did it and don't want to do it again -- heck, if you just don't feel like it! -- no hard feelings! But if you have time, I'd like to see your answers!

My nominations are:

  1. Lethargic Ramblings
  2. Railgunfan75's geek blog
  3. Ramblings N' Scribbles
  4. tfwanime

My Questions to the Nominees

Here are the questions I came up. Feel free to substitute your own! And please don't count any "and why" clauses as a second question. Instead, please interpret it as an encouragement to share your thoughts! 

  1. Which anime writer most inspires you, or which anime writer turns out material you find inspirational?
  2. What aspect of your blog are you most proud of and why?
  3. Of the artists who perform or write anime openings or endings, who is your favorite?
  4. What anime series would you love to buy, but can't because it's not available?
  5. Excluding this site, what are three anime sites you follow regularly and why?
  6. Which of Franchouchou's performances from Zombieland Saga was your favorite and why? 
  7. Within the last several seasons, what series had your favorite art style and why?

Thanks for reading!

9 thoughts on “Real Neat Blog Award!

  1. Those were great answers! I’m listening to “Something to Live For” while typing this comment. That lead singer has a great voice and they have good musicianship going on. They remind me a bit of Over the Rhine, Velour 100, Mazzy Star, and old-school Sixpence None the Richer (Think Angeltread and not Kiss Me or Breathe Your Name).

    That was a great poem, too.

    I hear you about homages. I don’t mind them. This may sound sacrilege to some anime fans, but I don’t consider The Matrix to be a rip-off, but an homage to Ghost in the Shell. Even though I like GITS much more, I do appreciate the Wachowskis acknowledging the inspiration of Shirow’s work when they made that movie series. Same with Requiem for a Dream in regards to Perfect Blue. It bugs me when people shamelessly steal from others when it comes to art.

    Those sound like amazing and practical powers!

    1. “This may sound sacrilege to some anime fans, but I don’t consider The Matrix to be a rip-off, but an homage to Ghost in the Shell. Even though I like GITS much more, I do appreciate the Wachowskis acknowledging the inspiration of Shirow’s work when they made that movie series.”

      That’s my take, too! Not only that, but the Wachowskis were very vocal in acknowledging the influence GITS had on them. I saw them and their work as part of the artistic community’s continuum, where work feeds on work and enriches the cultural fabric.

      I think that’s what art’s supposed to do!

      1. I’m glad you agree. It was great how the Wachowskis were able to pay homage to GITS. There were things such as the famous digital scroll, the net paralleling the Matrix system, and even the scene where the watermelons get shot up in the first movie was an Easter egg given one of the fight scenes from the original film.

        I do agree that art can and should build on other influences around. However, I also agree that something can be fully original in certain circumstances. I’m not the kind of person who says everything is a rip-off of this or that, since using that term so flippantly isn’t productive. It’s awesome whenever creators make really innovate works in their field.

  2. Well now I know what it feels like to be nominated for something like this. Looking forward to doing it 😀 ofcourse, thank you for giving me the opportunity to do it.

    Btw great anology for anime openings as windows.

    “There’s only one reason I haven’t finished writing them.

    I haven’t started writing them.

    I can make a hundreds excuses why I haven’t. ”
    Literally me with AMVs right now. I am having a project that nears its ending, even uploaded a small teaser on twitter but its simply all going slower than i perhaps would have liked and have anticipated. Kind of sucks

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